Instagram

I’ve had my Instagram account for a really long time. It was dormant after my Husband and mine’s first trip to Disneyland together.

Lately I’ve started a series of ballet photo poses and stuff out about in public. It’s very awkward but people actually don’t pay too much mind lol.

They’re not usually the greatest since I haven’t balleted in forever and I’m not warmed up or stretched.

I’m hoping they’ll get better!

Tomorrow Husband and I will be day tripping to Portland!! Yays tax free! Actually we’re going to buy fabric and sewing bric a brak. Exciting!

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Drop in at eXit space

So a few Thursdays ago I had a drop in at eXit space dance studio. My friend invited me to the intermediate adult ballet class they had for an hour and a half. Not only was my friend there but there were several people from the dance camp who also attend there who’d be there that night for the adult hip hop class. I got there early because it’s next to a popular lake and it’s mostly residential and restricted parking. So few free places to park. It was made worse by the fact that there was a run that afternoon and there were still plenty of cars taking spots. I had to park a good 2-3 blocks away from the studio. Of course by the time the class started there were several open spots in front of the studio. *sigh* Why can’t I be a late person?

So I took middle barre next to my friend. The room was already toasty warm, and like I said earlier we’ve been having a warm muggy summer. So in no time I was sweating. I only wore a pair of shorties I made out of a pair of tights to keep my hip sockets warm, over my leo and tights. I always find it fascinating what people decide to wear to class. Jogging skirts, leggings with lots of layers, leg warmers all through class. While I know a lot of professionals wear warm up gear for barre and stuff, usually for a warm up class, that makes sense to me. I often wear a leg warmer around joints during class from previous injury and to help keep it warm through out class. I’m just befuddled why you’d wear them just cuz, like a fashion statement. I’m not trying to judge, I just prefer the clean lines of little to no clothes inhibiting the body’s look and motion. OKAY that tangent over (and it’s not just this studio, many are like this.)

Their arms here are different, many places I’ve noticed so. You learn to adapt and not take to heart or feel frustrated when changes are like this. Everyone’s style is different and every one teacher is taught by a mentor who was taught by a mentor. So all their styles and changes and preferences were shaped and molded by other people and their own personal aesthetics. I just love it actually, because I get to try things my mentor abhors. Like during balances motioning the arms from 2nd to first in front. Mentor thinks they look like swimming arms or… visually she just disapproves. I have no preference really, but I enjoy the way I’ve been taught the last two years to do them. Which is actually just one arm in motion, the leading arm. It’s like arabesque then comes to low 5th. We did several exercises, and I remember this teacher mentioning in a class I was at before that you should not tilt your hips to the extreme when tucking your tail bone in because it can inhibit movement. So I thought about that when we repeated a degagé exercise facing barre. I’ve never been corrected about being overly tucked in, so I couldn’t say if it was towards me, or if it’s a particular preference the teacher has. I was a little embarrassed about being the only one at the barre to be parallel to the barre during battenments. I thought there was plenty of space to do mine, but everyone went quasi. Oh well, no one was harmed. Just my pride. I held some good balances, and we did some pirouettes at the barre too. My first one was pretty good. My second a disaster. I also. WAS NOT SPOTTING!!! I think this year I need to really focus on this. The one thing I liked about my pirouettes was they felt light. I could feel that lift many teachers talk about, “like there’s a string pulling from the top of your head.” It really doesn’t feel like that, it just feels elevated. You’re super light and you’re spinning/drilling that one leg. I think I was so fascinated with this feeling it distracted my spotting. Doing an intense choreography across the floor I had good spotting. Thanks May recital piece.

This daunting choreography started out with a simple enough adagio ( I think, I could be mixing up the adagio and the other choreography). Actually… Now I remember it was a classic glissade, assamble x 2 and more I just can’t remember but you moved into step, sauté turn, step sauté turn, step sauté turn step sauté turn, then a pas de bourré, then a tombé PDB then prepare 4 pique turns 2 pique turns towards the back wall, then immediately chassé into chaines on the diagonal. I couldn’t keep the choreography up because I got so dizzy, but I was spotting well enough. I feel through I was turning too much in my pirouettes. I could be over thinking it and will ask my Mentor. There’s a few things I want to go over with her from things I’ve learned and experienced this summer. I really want to see how she feels about the tombé I learned. Overall though there’s probably steps I’m leaving out because I’ve forgotten.

We did some balances at barre too, and for not having a class recently I could hold my 4th elevé with 3rd arabesque arms rather well. Did some good balances as well in attitude derrière. I need to figure out how to make attitude devant not so daunting.

I’ve been having mental notes lately, things I want to improve on this year. Petite allegro especially. My brain gets so confused in numbers! Two in first two in second, changement twice, then … etc. etc. It really throws me off and I don’t like it. I want to be quicker and be able to do it like *snap* Yea no prob man. Strengthen my ankles more, still more flexibility and splits if I can. I get so close!!! Abduction in my inner thighs. Inner thigh strength and hips too. Work on my back of course, and my hunched over shoulders. What a big laundry list.

Two – three weeks off ballet and I’m SOOOOO out of shape. I need to get back in shape before class. Otherwise all my posts will be “Owwwwwwwww.” I don’t think there’s a translator for that.

There’s Change in the Air

You can feel it. Actually, Seattle has been really sunny, really warm, and very humid this summer. Little rain has graced us and cloudy overcast glum days are scarce. It has been an odd summer to say the least.

I’ve been keeping quiet lately because there’s been a lot of overhaul happening on the other side of the computer. I’m getting ready for class to start in September, which coincidentally coincides with a bachelor/bachelorette party in Vegas the beginning of the month. So I’ll be partying till the end of summer right into class. Yikes!

Tuesday sept 3rd is when classes start for me at one studio. And I fly in that afternoon- hah haaaaaaahh…

Thursday class

Friday class.

Then the official week starts

Mon-Fri.

Class every day of the week at two studios.

Also I’ve been dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome. It started earlier this summer after my intensive. I’m a horrible side sleeper (this has caused lots of problems in my adult life) and I have a tendency to super tuck my hands under when I sleep. I noticed a lot of pain waking up from my wrists being tucked so tightly. Then all through the summer I had loss of feeling, tingling sensations, bouts of weakness in regular activities with my hands, and general aches and discomfort. I saw the doctor yesterday who said I have symptoms but he wants to know “why”. Apparently my sleeping habits aren’t a big enough reason. So we had blood work down, 4 vials! I only had coffee and a muffin! So I got sick, and almost fainted. They kept me around another 5-10 min before I drove myself home. (109 lbs, I’ve lost weight- noooooo!! Gimmie back my 112!)

So now I’m waiting on those results.

Also in other news, I’m so excited to say I found a $45 vintage serger to replace my super lame contemporary made serger that failed all the time and I wasn’t going to keep shelling out $100 to get it “fixed” when it was the stupid plastic no good belt that would never catch. $45 investment compared to that crap $300 investment. I saved a lot of money. Hopefully it’ll make a lot of money for me. So stay tuned for that. RP & AB probably recognize this well.

I’m making big goals and I want you guys to be apart of it. So stay tuned. I have my forever promised of new learned things I picked up at SKD intensive to share, and the drop in class I had a few weeks ago that was super fun!

SKD : Kathi Martuza

HER NAME!! This is the SF dancer who moved to Oregon and now dances at the Oregon Ballet Theater.

Kathi Martuza

She was a great teacher! She was the one who worked our little broken foot thingy ma bob. I was sad she was only the one day, Sunday I believe. Here’s here in a lovely contemporary pas de deux:

Monday Drop In

Ohhh… did you want to hear about that drop in class I had on the 15th?

 

OKAY!

 

I got there half an hour early. It was hot, and I signed up for my drop in. I stretched and marveled at the class photos in their silly costumes. I swear all the studios in the area are magically linked in costumes and performance themes.

So two older ladies dropped in 5 min before class. They were very sweet and very welcoming. Introducing themselves instead of just looking at me and continuing on. They involved me in conversation, how lovely! I love that. They did ask how long I had been dancing, and I’m sure because I am in my 20s that I looked more experienced. I admitted I had only been at it for the last two and a half years.

Entering class, I noticed there wasn’t much space. Sigh… I took up at the barre where I could see myself in the mirror from the side. The other ladies took place along the barre with their back or front faced the mirror. We started doing some foot warm ups facing the barre. That was pleasant. After being off from ballet for a week re-working my foot muscles in a slow movement was best. It was simply wonderful to just move like that again. Working on turn out from the hips, rotating ankles, pointing toes, such simple and complex things work you just the right way. We did our plies, starting with two grand plies and a demi from second. Then moved through first, fourth, and fifth.

Did a classic dégagé exercise facing the barre with 8L 8R 4L 4R 2L 2R 1R 1L 1R 1L , repeat with other foot starting. I love watching peoples brains work this out when they’re beginning. There’s always pause and hesitation. Also speed is slower. I wish I could let them know it’s okay to take it at a slower speed. It’s not a race, and using those muscles will soon come to you no problem. That was always a frustrating thing about beginning as an adult. Your body wouldn’t respond as fast as your mind.

We did a few things with frappés and it was nice because I’m AWFUL at frappés but they were very basic so I was actually too fast when I did my beats. I could tell I was out of shape because I was bashing my ankles together instead of a more controlled beat. All I could think was “ouch, ouch, ouch” lol. I practiced my new foot placement and balance in sous sus. Working on that beveling. Since barre work was more simple I was able to concentrate really on my turn out and utilizing my muscles and creating that strong inward pull. I recognized my abducting ability isn’t very strong and very weak. So I thought about that when I did my dégagés and other exercises to utilize my inner thighs.

Things started to get a little more complex for the regulars. We did pas de bourrees at the barre. Painfully slow PDBs lol. I’m used to this though because of teaching the little girls, so it really wasn’t a problem. I just concentrated on pointing my toes between movements. It got more complicated by tombé-ing, pdb x 2 and close 5th, repeat with other foot I believe. I could be wrong in my numbers. Then passé, fourth, relevé passé. Which later we turned into a pirouette. Which I hate doing at the barre because I’m afraid to smack my knee. I couldn’t tell if my leg was turned out I was focused too much on the corrections I received at SKD about my arms and back during pirouttes class.

We did a barre stretch which was nice and then after barre stretch I think we moved to center. Which always everyone is nervous. I forgot to mention that a person dropped in after plies. She was a little more advanced than the other two ladies. Oh we did some more things before center. We did battements that included passes and cloches which was fun. Really good exercises to open up the hip first before doing your battements.

Center though we did more PDB like we did at the barre, and balances. The teacher did her balances quasi, which was kinda weird at first, but you adapt. Our arm movements went across the chest, not like past mid line or anything, just in out in out. We did some petit allegro and some grand allegro but because of the shape of the room and it’s size I couldn’t do much diagonally at all. Least of all landing the saut de chat at the end. Abuuuuuuu 😦

It was fun, great exercises. I’m happy to have returned so long and still get good sweat from her class. So I’ll be going back next Monday with my friend.